Getting The Creeps Part III: I Knew I Should Have Gone To The Gym, Instead
Out of desperation and against my better judgment, I attended a non-union open call for a new play yesterday. In some way the ad seemed off:
Was it that the writer-slash-director was the only name associated with the project? Was it the unnecessary, overly-confident line: "possible future run on Broadway"? Was it that all three roles mentioned were for young women whose "character" descriptions listed only pointlessly vague physical attributes (young, brunette, one petite and the other "slightly taller")? Was it that he'd only reserved 4 hours for a non-union open call in a city where tens-of-thousands fit the bill? Or was it the phrase "no nudity" – which failed to reassure and seemed instead to say, "I know how this looks, but you won't get naked. You'll just make out with each other in your underwear"?
Who knows. But anyway…
Arriving on the scene it was as much of a clusterfuck as I'd anticipated. Turning to leave, I saw a friend who'd just finished but was waiting for someone still auditioning (and had been for 20 minutes), and filled me in with the details so far:
- Upon arrival, said writer/director yelled at the studio space staff – in front of everyone.
- He removed the sign-in sheet and was calling girls in at random, based on (what witnesses guessed to be) their level of "hotness", thus skipping over many girls who'd been waiting.
- During one person's audition, he left her to get a cup of coffee.
- During one person's audition, he lit a cigarette – in the tiny, windowless practice space.
- It was determined that this was a play about the writer/director's love life and that he would be playing himself. Surprise! So guess who you get to make out with, ladies? Nice.
Many girls were griping that they'd had it – that this guy was a joke and they should leave… but then rattled off some lame excuse to stay. One girl said she'd totally leave – if only it wasn't rush hour. ??? The girl left hanging while he got coffee said she felt dirty by the way he'd leered at her… yet waited for him dutifully. What? I'm sorry, but it's well within your rights and totally reasonable to say, "I have to leave, but you have my contact info and I'd be glad to attend callbacks", and then leave. That's not mean – that's sane and rational.
I told some girls that you can report him to the resource who listed his ad. (Talk about feeling old – what am I, the waiting room den mother now?) He's abused your time and the trust of the publication by behaving unprofessionally and rudely. And you don't have to put up with it. And if you do – out of desperation, and he does cast you– do you honestly think this show will be successfully mounted?
My gut says "no". And it was right about this audition from the get-go.